This morning we are suppose to do an early morning walk in the Wuling farm. For some strange reason, Jason our guide didn't ask the front desk to give us a wake up call. Luckly I have my alarm set for 5 am so I walked across the hallway to wake up Angela and her mom for the hike. Angela was really surprised, so she rushed to get dressed and come out for the morning walk. Interesting that half of our tour group didn't come along due to it being way too early.
This morning, we visited the snow mountain and saw a bunch of "luxury tents". These tents are so high class that they are raised from the ground to prevent excessive moisture. There are also electric plugs in each one of the tent. The first in the world !!!
After the morning walk we returned to our hotel room and have a big breakfast
. Then we are off on our way to Taruko gorge. On the way, we visited Lisan fruit farm and bought some tasty apple pears and apples from the local produce stands. The Apple pears are so huge !! the size of a small volley ball !!!! Taruko gorge is one of the most famous sight here in Taiwan because the canyon gorge is lined with white marble. The only road accessible to this area is this tunnel road, but during last rainy season along with the typhoons, there were some major road damage, thus a major section of the road and canyon were closed due to risk of fallen rocks, this sadly include the most beautiful section of the national park :( Anyways, Jason and our bus driver are very experienced in avoiding crowds :) that we parked a short distance from the entry point and we were escorted to see the beautiful gorge minus the people !!! The Taiwanese engineer really did some incredible job making the tunnel right at the edge of the cliff with a spectacular view to the gorge. Imaging the days when the engineers are contructing this stretch of the road , blasting with dynamite, lots of contruction workers lost their lives due to accidents. So when the road was complete, even the Taiwanese president came to dedicate the road to those who lost their lives during the construction. Due to risk of falling rocks, we are all asked to wear the safety helmet, we really look like a bunch of dorks in those helmets, besides they stink like rotten sweat yuck.
After visiting a few vista points, we are on our way to a much quieter place to enjoy the canyon. The Taruko gorge is so crowded with tourists and their buses that it is a traffic nightmare. When I was walking along the gorge, I saw a bunch of tourists smoking and then throwing the cigarette butts into the gorge, my goodness, what shame. There is even a tourist spitting into the gorge. Jason was quite mad at these inconsiderate tourists that he is planning on writing a letter of complaint to the Taiwanese tourist board and make sure a sign with stiff fine is placed near the gorge.
We spend the rest of the evening touring a quiet area away from the hoards of tourists. Saw the gorge in a completely different setting, near a park. We has some nice mountain tea and bought some apple crisp prior to heading back into our hotel.
For dinner tonight, it is buffet dinner once again and for dessert, it is cooked grass jelly with assorted condiments like red beans, mung beans and peanuts, so delicious. This evening, there is a guided star party at 10 pm when a group of us went out to watch the stars. Too bad the night is too cloudy we barely saw half of the big dipper and the north star is behind the clouds.
It was a very fun day.